The Indian subcontinent is a vast land of diverse geographical divisions and climatic variations. The climatic conditions and the sundry landscapes serve as natural habitat to varieties of flora and fauna. Various wildlife sanctuaries and national parks have been established all over the country with the aim of protecting the endangered species of flora and fauna by safeguarding them in their natural habitat. These regions, called as the Wildlife sanctuaries, are also recognized as protected zones by the government of our country. Today these wild life sanctuaries are the most adored tourist destination for wildlife enthusiasts.
Following are the Top 10 Wildlife Destinations of India:
Bandipur Wildlife Sanctuary
One of India’s well-known wildlife destinations, Bandipur Wildlife Sanctuary is situated at the meeting point of the Deccan plateau and the Western ghats in the Chamarajanagar district in Karnataka. It was designated as a Tiger reserve under the Project Tiger in 1973. Later in 1974 the Bandipur wildlife sanctuary was declared as a National Park under the Wildlife Protection Act. It is a home to the endangered population of Tiger in the park and various kinds of wildlife species such as Gaur (Indian Bison), Asiatic Elephant, Leopard, Sambar and Chital. Other than these Barking Deer, Dhole (wild dog) Giant Squirrel, Nocturnal Porcupine and Sloth Bear are some of the exotic species that resides in the park. Best time to visit is between the months of April and October.
Jim Corbett National Park
Established on 8th August, 1936, Jim Corbett National Park is situated in the Nainital district of Uttaranchal and is the oldest wildlife reserve of India. It derived its name after a famous hunter turned conservationist Jim Corbett who played a major role in the establishment of the park. The park today is a home to some of the endangered species and plays an important role in the conservation of Indian Wildlife. The assortment of wildlife in Corbett National Park includes tigers, muggars, crocodile, leopards, elephants, jungle cats, varieties of deer and other exotic species of animals. There are a total of 50 species of mammals and 580 species of birds in the park. This park is also a warehouse of 488 different species of plants. The best time to visit the park is during the winter. During this season a large variety of migratory birds visit this park.
Gir National Park
The only abode of Asiatic lion in the world, Gir National Park is situated in the south-west of Saurashtra peninsula in the Junagarh district of Gujarat. The park houses significant population of leopards and abundant species of birds. Some exotic species of birds found here are black headed cuckoo shrike, Bonelli’s eagle, crested serpant eagle, pied woodpecker, painted sandgrouse, grey partridge bush and quail. Other than birds the park is also a home to chital, chinkara, nilgai and the four horned antelope and wild boar. Ideal time to visit the park is between late-November and early-March.
Ranthambore National Park
This national park is situated in the Sawai Madhopur district of Rajasthan. In 1955 this Park got declared as a game sanctuary. However it earned the status of a national park only in the year of 1980. The year 1972 marks the commencement of Project Tiger. During this time the park was given the status of a tiger reserve in the country. The wild topography and the thick deciduous forests are key characteristics of this Park which renders favorable atmosphere to the varied and leading group of wildlife species in the country. The park is renowned for its magnificent Royal Bengal Tigers. It is the best place where tigers can be observed at their natural habitat. Best time to visit Ranthambore is February to April when the climate is mild.
Kaziranga National Park
Kaziranga National Park is located in the Golaghat and Nagaon districts of Assam. The park is the abode of two third populations of world’s one-horned great Indian rhinoceros. It is also a world heritage site. In 2006 the park was declared as a tiger reserve and has the highest number of Tiger population in world. Other than tigers the park also protects wild water buffalo, elephants, swamp deer, wild boar, Indian muntjac, hog deer, sambhar, gaur, hoolock gibbon, golden langur, Assamese macque and many more exotic species. Park also houses varied species of migratory birds, predators, water birds, scavengers, and game birds and Ganges Dolphin.
Kanha National Park
Kanha National Park is located in the Mandla / Balaghat districts of the state of Madhya Pradesh. In 1955 this park was designated as a National park. The main attractions of the park are the swamp deer or Barasingha. It is also a home to other species of mammals such as tigers, spotted deer, langur monkeys, sambhar deer, jackals, wild boar, crested serpent, blackbuck and more than 300 species of birds, reptiles and fishes. The best time to visit Kanha national park is between February and June.
Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary
Situated in the lofty ranges of Western Ghats in the state of Kerala, Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary is one of the eminent Tiger reserve project of South India. Periyar is renowned for the Asiatic elephants and houses about 900 elephants. Visitors who trek into the Periyar often spot a Python and sometimes even a King Cobra. Other than elephants Periyar includes gaur, horse deer, mouse deer barking deer, Indian wild dogs, mongoose, leopards and Nilgiri tahr apart from 45 species of reptiles and 320 species of birds.
Keoladeo Ghana National Park
Keoladeo Ghana National Park, also known as Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary, is a wonder of natural world. Located in the Bharatpur district of Rajasthan, the park is also a World Heritage site. This park evidences thousands of migratory birds like Siberian cranes, Common Demoiselle, Hawks, Pelicans, Geese, Shanks, Ducks, Eagles, Warblers, Stints, Wagtails, Buntings, Wheatears, Flycatchers, Larks during the winter. park also has a good number of mammals namely Golden Jackal, Jungle Cat, Striped Hyena, Sambar, Fishing Cat, Nilgai, Blackbuck and wild Boar.
Pench National Park
Pench National Park is situated in the north-western state of Maharashtra in India, 70 kilometers from the city of Nagpur. The best time to visit the Park is between the month of February and April. The wildlife park is famous for its leopards and deer. It is the 25th Tiger Reserve in the country. Apart from Tiger the park is also home to varied fauna such as nilgai, wild pig, chital, sambhars, gaur, macque, langur, bears, wild boar, wild dogs and four horned antelope. It also houses 25 species of birds like bulbuls, barbets, wagtails, minivets orioles, munias, waterfowls, mynas and blue kingfishers.
Bandhavgarh National Park
Bandhavgarh National Park is situated on the extreme north-eastern border of the state of Madhya Pradesh. It earned the status of a national park in 1968. This park is a prosperous zone of bio-diversity in the country. This park has one of the highest populations of Tigers in the country. Other than Tiger, it has 37 species of mammals that includes Chausingha, Nilgai, Chital, Wild Boar, Chinkara, more than 250 bird’s species, 70 species of butterflies and number of reptiles. Earlier this park was famous for the White Tigers of Rewa.